The church stands on the site of an early wooden building, which may have served the Saxon villagers for hundreds of years. The earliest part of the present stone church dates from the early 12th century, The south door, although much restored, dates from this period, as do the two northern arches of the nave.
On the south side of the nave there are some men’s heads carved on one pillar making faces at some grotesque women’s heads on the opposite pillar. These seem to be a thirteenth century carver’s joke!
The roughly carved rood-screen dates from this period.
The church was largely rebuilt in this period, From 1814 to 1894 Fringford was fortunate to enjoy the considerable personal wealth, intellectual ability and social standing of three ‘regal rectors’: Henry Roundell, Henry de Salis and Cadwallader Coker, All three are commemorated in the church.
In 1821 a new chancel was built and in 1829 the north side was repaired. In 1831 the present stone tower was constructed to replace the wooden belfry. 1842 saw the pulpit installed using seventeenth-century panels from neighbouring Hardwick Manor, and the vestry was built.
There are two fonts in the south aisle, an octagonal one possibly from the sixteenth-century, presented by Henry Roundell, and a round one of 1880 in memory of Anne King who lived in Waterloo Farm.
In the early 1900s Henry Chinnery paid for the north chapel to be rebuilt. Two clerestory windows were added, the ceiling was decorated, and stained glass was placed in the east window. The fine altar in the north aisle was given by Mrs Marjorie Chinnery in 1972. Some local people still refer to the north aisle as the ‘Chinnery Chapel’.
Click HERE to read about the Wall Painting in the North Aisle.
Martin Greenward 2006